|Publication number||US20050269885 A1|
|Application number||US 11/203,838|
|Publication date||Dec 8, 2005|
|Filing date||Aug 15, 2005|
|Priority date||Apr 19, 2001|
|Also published as||CA2617657A1, CA2617657C, US7492069, WO2007022125A1|
|Publication number||11203838, 203838, US 2005/0269885 A1, US 2005/269885 A1, US 20050269885 A1, US 20050269885A1, US 2005269885 A1, US 2005269885A1, US-A1-20050269885, US-A1-2005269885, US2005/0269885A1, US2005/269885A1, US20050269885 A1, US20050269885A1, US2005269885 A1, US2005269885A1|
|Inventors||Dick Knox, George Soukup|
|Original Assignee||Baker Hughes Incorporated|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (20), Referenced by (12), Classifications (30), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention relates generally to electrical submersible pump assemblies and particularly to a pump assembly having an internal lubricant pump in the motor that pressurizes the lubricant to stabilize bearings for the motor shaft.
A conventional, electric, submersible pump (ESP) assembly includes an electrical motor and a rotary pump that is used to pump oil or other fluids from a well. The motor has a rotatable rotor that is contained within a stationary stator. The rotors for the submersible pumps are usually disposed in substantially vertical position by virtue of the wells often being vertical. The rotor shafts may be 30 feet or more in length, thus need radial support bearings to stabilize them and reduce vibration.
The bearings that provide radial support for the rotor shaft are often of the fluid film variety. However, fluid film bearings require a side load to provide optimal dynamic stability. Since the rotor shaft is rotating in a vertical position, there is little or no side load being applied to the bearing during operation. This causes instability in the bearings, which can result in excessive motor vibration. Excessive vibration in the bearings can cause the bearing sleeves to break through the lubricant film, resulting in metal-to-metal contact that can lead to premature wear and motor failure.
A typical motor contains an internal lubrication system that circulates lubricant from a reservoir, through a hollow motor shaft, and through passages in the shaft to lubricate the radial support bearings. The circulation occurs by reason of the rotating shaft. Normally, there is no pump, and the pressure due to the rotating shaft is low. The lubricant may also circulate through a heat exchanger and through a particle filter and/or a hygroscopic material to remove heat and contaminants from the lubricant. Although pumps being currently marketed rely on convection circulation of lubricant, prior art patents exist that show internal lubricant pumps for circulating lubricant. The circulation created by the prior art patents would not appear to provide sufficient pressure to create a fluid film between the bearings and the shaft.
Where lateral loading of a component is too low for fluid film stabilization of journal bearings, pressurization of the lubricant may be used. Stabilization occurs when a lubricant is fed into a bearing-component interface at a pressure sufficient to maintain a film between the component and the bearing even when there is minimal loading. While some pressure is developed in an ESP motor designed for lubricant circulation, it is much too low to achieve stabilization of the bearing through fluid film stabilization.
A method and device are provided for stabilizing shaft bearings in a submersible well pump motor by increasing the lubricant pressure to achieve fluid-film stabilization. The assembly includes a motor having a hollow shaft and outlets communicating the shaft axial passage with the bearings A internal lubricant pump is provided in the motor for pressurizing the lubricant. The lubricant pump has a set of impellers attached to a lower end of the shaft within the motor and rotating with the shaft, the impellers being located in the flow path of the lubricant. A diffuser is located upstream of and adjacent each impeller for slowing the incoming lubricant. The impellers increase the radial velocity of the lubricant, and this velocity is converted into a pressure head at the exit of the impeller.
The lubricant flows through the first diffuser and into the inlet of the first impeller. The lubricant then flows through the second diffuser and second impeller and flows out of the outlet of the second impeller into a reservoir. The first stage pressurizes the lubricant to a pressure level, and the second stage pressurizes the lubricant to a second, higher pressure level. The pressure in the reservoir causes the lubricant to flow through the hollow shaft and through the outlets to the bearings. Each outlet has at least three ports arranged generally symmetrically around the shaft. The lubricant is pressurized to a pressure sufficient to induce a film of lubricant between the shaft and the bearings, the film preventing the shaft from contacting the bearings, thus stabilizing the bearings.
An internal, multi-stage, centrifugal lubricant pump has an upper stage 31 and a lower stage 33, each stage having an impeller 35, 37 and a diffuser 39, 41. Upper stage 31 increases the pressure of the lubricant to a first level, and lower stage 33 increases the pressure to a second level. The lubricant pump is located within a lower portion of housing 21 for pressurizing and circulating lubricant. Alternatively, the lubricant pump can be located within an upper portion of housing 21.
Each impeller 35, 37 comprises two circular plates 43 stacked vertically and having a plurality of vanes 45 attached to and between plates 43. Vanes 45 define separate passages between plates 43. Impellers 35, 37 are attached to and rotate with shaft 23 to draw lubricant into a central portion of impeller 35, 37 and increase the velocity of the lubricant at a discharge at a periphery. In this embodiment, impellers 35, 37 are oriented to discharge lubricant downward, however they could be oriented to discharge upward. Impellers 35, 37 are preferably straight-vane impellers which, while less efficient, would allow bidirectional operation of the pump. Impellers 35, 37 are shown to be a radial-flow type which directs the flow from the passages between the vanes radially outward. Mixed-flow impellers, which direct flow axially as well as radially, may also be employed in some cases. However, mixed-flow stages do not provide as much pressure increase as radial-flow types, instead providing more velocity.
Diffusers 39, 41 are mounted to the inner surface of motor housing 21 and are stationary relative to impellers 35, 37. Diffuser 39 is located above impeller 35, and diffuser 41 is located between impellers 35, 37. Each diffuser 39, 41 has a plurality of passages 46, 48, respectively, that lead downward and inward from a periphery to a central outlet. Each central outlet registers with the inlet of one of impellers 35, 37. Upper diffuser 39 primarily serves as an input path to upper impeller 35. Lower diffuser 41 serves to slow the lubricant being discharged by upper impeller 35 before it enters lower impeller 37, increasing the pressure head of the lubricant at the exit of upper impeller 35. Although not shown, another diffuser could be located below lower impeller 35, which would enhance performance of the lubricant pump. A fixed volume lubricant reservoir 47 is located below impeller 37.
In this embodiment, shaft 23 has a sleeve 53 on its exterior that is secured to shaft 23 for rotation therewith by a key 55. Sleeve 53 is slightly longer than the axial dimension of hub 29 a, including thrust washers 54, so that an axial forces imposed on rotor 24 pass through sleeve 53, not through hub 29 a. Sleeve 53 rotates with rotor 24 and may be considered to be a part of the assembly of shaft 23. Sleeve 53 has an annular groove or recess 57 within its inner diameter, as shown particularly in
In operation, housing 21 is vacuum-filled with a volume of lubricant, and ESP assembly 11 (
The increase in pressure in reservoir 47 forces the lubricant to travel up axial passage 25 and discharges at the various radial support bearings. At intermediate bearing 29 (
The advantage of a pressurized bearing system is that metal-to-metal contact of shaft 23 and radial support bearings 27, 29 is limited or eliminated. This reduces the frequency of required replacement of bearings 27, 29 and provides for a longer run-time between failures. The present invention provides for a simple, reliable and inexpensive method of pressurization and stabilization.
While the invention is shown in only one of its forms, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art that it is not so limited, but is susceptible to various changes without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, the sleeve of the shaft assembly at the intermediate bearing could be eliminated, and the adjacent upper and lower sections of the rotor fixed axially to the shaft, such as by a retaining ring. Conversely, if desired, a sleeve could be mounted to the shaft for rotation therewith at the upper bearing.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8181720 *||Jun 25, 2010||May 22, 2012||National Oilwell Varco, L.P.||Sealing system and bi-directional thrust bearing arrangement for a downhole motor|
|US8322444 *||Sep 30, 2009||Dec 4, 2012||Schlumberger Technology Corporation||Surface refillable protector|
|US8834026||Sep 30, 2011||Sep 16, 2014||Baker Hughes Incorporated||Bearings for downhole tools, downhole tools incorporating such bearings, and methods of cooling such bearings|
|US8910718 *||Sep 29, 2004||Dec 16, 2014||Schlumberger Technology Corporation||System and method for a combined submersible motor and protector|
|US9046090 *||Oct 19, 2011||Jun 2, 2015||Baker Hughes Incorporated||High efficiency impeller|
|US20050109515 *||Sep 29, 2004||May 26, 2005||Schlumberger Technology Corporation||System and Method for a Combined Submersible Motor and Protector|
|US20100326730 *||Jun 25, 2010||Dec 30, 2010||National Oilwell Varco, L.P.||Sealing System and Bi-Directional Thrust Bearing Arrangement for a Downhole Motor|
|US20130101446 *||Apr 25, 2013||Baker Hughes Incorporated||High efficiency impeller|
|WO2012050674A1 *||Aug 31, 2011||Apr 19, 2012||Baker Hughes Incorporated||Bearing systems containing diamond enhanced materials and downhole applications for same|
|WO2014043059A1 *||Sep 10, 2013||Mar 20, 2014||Baker Hughes Incorporated||Integrated motor bearing and rotor|
|WO2014201458A1 *||Jun 16, 2014||Dec 18, 2014||Schlumberger Canada Limited||Diamond surfaces for electric submersible pump components|
|WO2015047405A1 *||Sep 30, 2013||Apr 2, 2015||Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.||Rotor bearing for progressing cavity downhole drilling motor|
|U.S. Classification||310/87, 166/385, 310/90, 415/199.1, 417/423.3|
|International Classification||F04D13/10, F16C33/10, H02K5/12, H02K7/08, F01D3/00, F04D29/06, H02K5/132, H02K5/10|
|Cooperative Classification||F16C33/1085, H02K16/02, H02K7/08, F04D29/044, H02K5/10, F04D29/047, H02K7/083, H02K5/132, F04D29/061, F04D13/10|
|European Classification||F04D29/047, F04D29/044, H02K7/08C, F16C33/10L5R, F04D13/10, H02K7/08, F04D29/06P|
|Aug 15, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED, TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:KNOX, DICK L.;SOUKUP, GEORGE C.;REEL/FRAME:016895/0487
Effective date: 20050815
|Jul 18, 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4